The state House is in session this week. The Senate will return to session the week of April 19. There are a number of items of interest to the business community scheduled for the week.
The House is expected to take up H.B. 605 – COVID-19 liability reform legislation – on second consideration this week. The bill aims to deter frivolous lawsuits that place significant financial strain on employers by requiring that cases alleging personal injury damages as a result of COVID-19 exposure be subject to an expedited mandatory arbitration program. An amendment is expected to be offered to provide temporary and targeted COVID liability protections for businesses that are operating in good faith following state and federal health guidelines. The PA Chamber has long maintained that such protections are a necessary component to the Commonwealth’s economic recovery.
On Wednesday, April 7 at 10 a.m. the House Health Committee is scheduled vote on H.B. 681, which would prohibit and render void non-compete clauses in health care practitioners’ employment contracts. Healthcare industry employers have expressed concern with this bill and the PA Chamber has previously resisted legislation that would unduly interfere in private contract decisions.
Appropriations hearings on Gov. Wolf’s 2021-22 state budget proposal will continue in the Senate this week. On Thursday, April 8 at 10 a.m. the committee will meet with officials from the Department of Labor & Industry. The Senate will wrap-up its budget related Appropriations Committee hearings by the third week of April.
The full list of committee meetings, which is subject to change, is available on the General Assembly website.